GMES & Africa holds first continental Coastal and Marine Service workshop in Ghana

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
General News GMES  Africa holds firstcontinental Coastal and Marine Service workshop in Ghana
JUL 7, 2022 LISTEN

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES & Africa) has concluded its first continental Coastal and Marine Service workshop in Ghana today, Wednesday, July 6, 2022, as part of phase II of the initiative.

The maiden Continental Service Workshop on Coastal and Marine Services officially kicked off at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, on Monday, July 4, 2022, and lasted three days.

The workshop was convened by the African Union Commission and attended by leading implementers; the University of Ghana (UoG) and CSIR, as well as other partners including Regional Economic Communities and European Technical Institutions, among others.

The GMES & Africa phase II is a continuity of phase I of the programme that is looking at building on the achievements of the first phase.

The service workshop was put together to provide the ideal platform for the consortia to identify collaborative mechanisms because the ultimate objective of GMES & Africa is to end up with services that are issued on a continental scale.

The Consortia involved are therefore requested to improve the existing services in their regions by investigating mechanisms to ensure that the services become user-driven and sustainable at the technical and financial levels.

Throughout the three days of the workshop, attendees focused on the six axes of GMES & Africa phase II including policy and institutional framework, infrastructure and data, information services, training, and capacity development, knowledge management, outreach, awareness, and engagement.

Particular attention was given to the new axes, which are Policy and Institutional Framework” and Knowledge Management”, with the intention of clarifying them in terms of activities that need to be undertaken by the Consortia.

Speaking to journalists on day one of the workshop, Dr. Tidiane Ouattara who is Coordinator, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security for Africa shared that it is important to integrate to create a prosperous and peaceful Africa.

He explained that the workshop is about sharing best practices in relation to not only data acquisition, and data processing, but mainly service development to enable scientists to be able to provide the citizens with data and information that will address their daily needs.

“Africa Union is creating the platform like today you have seen all countries interested in the marine waters, all of them have been directly and indirectly funded by the AU Commission.

“We have to talk together to share best practices and to look at how to complement each other. Together we are stronger and Africa should speak one language,” Dr. Tidiane Ouattara shared.

According to him, it is important for countries on the continent to take a cue from how Africa is suffering from the impact of Covid and the Russia-Ukraine conflict to embark on ventures that will be beneficial for the continent.

“The Ukraine crisis showed Africa that food security is an issue because we depend on Ukraine for several things and on Europe also for several things. It means that Africa now has to rethink its agriculture and food security strategy.

“And with this, the acquisition is of data, processing of data becomes more than critical because it is a pillar to allow decision-makers to develop good policies, but also those who are on the grounds to intervene at the appropriate place at the appropriate moments, and with the appropriate means. All is about data and Space science and technology are providing.

“It is also important to look at capacity building in two ways. Capacity yes In terms of infrastructure and in terms of training the critical masses of Africa in all the domains,” Dr. Tidiane Ouattara added.


Also, engaging journalists, the Coordinator, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security for Africa, UG, Dr. Kwame Agyekum underscored the importance of the workshop, insisting that it will go a long way to help countries on the continent to make the most of the many resources available.

“You realize that Africa is endowed with a lot of resources. We have vast oceans and very fertile lands. The AU through partnerships with the European Union is making available to African countries a lot of data that allows us to look at our resources.

“We have realised that we need to manage these resources but we need to collect information about these resources. So that’s what we are here talking about,” Dr. Kwame Agyekum explained to journalists.

He continued, “How do we use satellites to look at our ocean, our land, vegetation, and so forth. So in this meeting, we are strategizing on how we can take advantage of data to make use of our resources. At the end of the day, we want to have a good plan for the management of our resources.”

In all, over 75 participants attended the workshop including representatives of the 2 Consortia in charge of the implementation of the Coastal and Marine Services, representatives of the 5 RECs, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, GMES & Africa Project Management Unit, and AUC Departments, European Partners DG-GROW, ESA, EUMETSAT, JRC, plus a delegation from EU.

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo